2Department of Cardiology, Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
3Department of Gastroenterological Surgery (Surgery II), Nagoya University Graduate School of Medicine, Nagoya, Japan
4Tokai Central Hospital, Kakamigahara, Japan
5Jahan Saht Endoscopic clinic in Shegerghan City, Jozjan province, Afghanistan
Background: A high incidence rate of esophageal cancer has been observed in the Northern part of Afghanistan, particularly among those of Uzbek-Turkmen ethnicity. However, there is a paucity of published data from which to compare the prevalence of environmental risk factors for esophageal cancer between Uzbek-Turkmen and other ethnic groups. Thus, we investigated the prevalence of environmental risk factors associated with esophageal cancer in the Northern part of Afghanistan, focusing on ethnicity differences. Methods: This retrospective study covered 168 patients diagnosed with esophageal cancer based on endoscopic findings when attending an outpatient clinic from October 2013 to April 2016. Demographic data and burden of relevant environmental risk factors were compared between Uzbek-Turkmen and other ethnic groups. Results: In the total of 168 patients (108 Uzbek-Turkmen and 60 other ethnicities), males had significantly higher rates of opium use, chewing nass (a mixture of tobacco, ash and lime), and smoking than female patients. The mean age of the Uzbek-Turkmen group was 62.9 years, while that of the other ethnic group cases was 59.1. The prevalence of opium use, chewing nass and hot tea consumption was significantly higher in the Uzbek-Turkmen group. Conclusions: This study showed that there were significant differences in prevalence of opium, nass, and hot tea consumption between Uzbek-Turkmen and the other ethnic group patients with esophageal cancer in the northern part of Afghanistan.